WCS Education is committed to inspiring a diverse and inclusive movement of conservation advocates and STEM professionals. Our work with youth is a centerpiece of this mission. Each year, over 1,400 youth ages 14 to 24 years old participate in enrichment, volunteer, internship, and employment opportunities across our five parks. The majority of these opportunities are at the Bronx Zoo, making WCS the largest employer of young adults in the Bronx.
The WCS Career Lattice is our integrated careers pathway program through which youth from low-income communities have expanded entry points to opportunities at our parks and equal access to a suite of professional services and supports. The Career Lattice employs a three-pronged approach:
- Connect with young people in local, low-income communities through outreach and partnerships;
- Develop young people through workshops, support services, and skill-building while at WCS;
- Advance young people in their professional journeys through leadership training and tiered professional opportunities in our parks.
The collective impact of this approach empowers young people to pursue meaningful careers, increase their social capital, and develop a conservation ethic.
Our WCS Career Lattice Interim Report, released in November 2020, provides in-depth information about our youth audience, engagement strategies, and impact.
Generous support for the WCS STEM Career Lattice is provided by New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the New York City Council, Fox Corporation, the TD Charitable Foundation, and multiple private foundations.